Art Enns, a Red River Valley grain farmer, is donating the proceeds from 35 acres of his oat crop to help support the Manyinga Project. The oat field's sign is now up to promote the hard work being done to provide essential training in agriculture, primary education and basic health and nutrition programs for students in Zambia.
Bob Anderson, Shawna Mathieson, Art Enns and Bill Wilton, all members of Prairie Oat Growers Association, visit an oat field – the proceeds from which will be donated to the Manyinga schools project by POGA Chairman, Art Enns.
On April 14, “Dinner, Drinks and Development” - an evening in support of the Manyinga Project – was held at the Winter Club in Winnipeg, Manitoba. During the conscious cocktail hour, guests experienced the taste of nshima, the staple food of Zambia, and a foundation of the Manyinga school’s nutrition program. The chef at the Winter Club developed a delicious African-inspired meal, and we were entertained by Chris Enns and Geung Kroeker-Lee, with wonderful renditions of old song favorites. Attendees heard the Manyinga Story, learning about the schools at Sumafunda and Chinema and the Farm Initiative, brought to life with pictures of the school facilities, students and teachers, and Wendi Thiessen’s vivid descriptions.
Thanks to the outstanding generosity of over 130 participants, more than $30,000 was raised to support education, agricultural training, health and nutrition programs at two schools for orphan and vulnerable children in Zambia.
These gifts will have a huge impact on the success of the schools – and the students - for another year:
- Educational opportunities for the children will continue to be expanded through the teacher and teacher-assistant subsidies and school supplies these donations will fund. Read more here.
- Prospects for the children in this heavily rural area will be enhanced through the agricultural training they receive through the Farm Initiative; the monies raised will pay for seed, fertilizer, oxen/plough rental, fruit trees, and corn sacks needed for grain storage and transportation.
- The children’s health will be improved with access to more first aid kits, nurse visits, and upgrades to the latrines at both schools. Click here for more information.
- Funds raised will also help to pay vet fees, and build new goat pens at both schools, which will improve the health and size of the goat herds, and ultimately advance the children’s nutritional health.
Because of the success of the fund-raiser, we are also able to consider more infrastructure projects at the schools and address some badly needed repairs in some of the teacher’s residences.
We’d like to offer a heartfelt thank you to our sponsors for the event: AgriBuds, Emerging Ag Inc., Omex Agriculture Inc., Sherpa Marketing, and Suckerpunch Creative.
Thank you to our Sponsors:
The Manyinga Project Committee would like to thank the many donors who supported the Manyinga Project in 2015, resulting in several measures of success. Most specifically, we are excited to report that all 42 of the Grade 7 students at both Chinema and Sumafunda schools passed the national exams, allowing them to graduate into high school. Further, two students excelled to such a degree that they received scholarships to a boarding high school.
This level of education will provide many opportunities for these children that they would not have had, without your support. Most of the parents have not been to school and do not speak English, even though it is the national language of Zambia. They largely survive with subsistence farming and occasional labouring jobs.
We were fortunate to have Allan and Myrna Ronald visit the schools in early February. This in-person interaction with the school teachers, children and supporting community is invaluable for determining our future course of action in terms of fund-raising and support, and we are grateful for their dedication to the Manyinga Project.
The Ronalds were able to meet with both schools’ supporting communities and reaffirmed each community’s commitment to the schools, and their participation in the school’s Farm Initiative and feeding program. Here are some highlights from their visit:
Like many countries in sub-Saharan Africa, Zambia has experienced a prolonged dry season. Rains have recently come but early growth on our farms has been affected. This effect, along with a shortage of fertilizer, may reduce our maize yields; however, higher prices may balance this out, as half of the maize will be sold into local markets. Half of the income from the Farm Initiative is used for the school feeding program, and we will wait and see whether this program will need to be augmented.
The schools have a new agriculturalist, Happy Sakayi, and we are gratified by his insight and dedication to the Farm Initiative at the schools. He is actively incorporating cowpeas into the farm plots, which will help to improve fertility and soil health and provide a source of nutrition for the feeding program.
The local animal health officer has shown a great interest in the Farm Initiative and has begun to visit the schools; she is happy with the health of the goat herds at the schools, and has made recommendations that will further improve the herd health.
What’s Happening In 2016
Along with a lot of good news, there are many needs for infrastructure improvement at the two schools. The growth and success of the school program is creating a need for a new classroom block at Chinema to enable all-day attendance; students are currently attending half days so that the growing enrolment can all be accommodated. School toilets need refurbishing or rebuilding. In addition, prolonged dry periods are becoming more frequent, and it is apparent that the wells at the schools are becoming inadequate to ensure the daily needs of the schools and the Farm Initiative. These may need to be re-drilled. The Manyinga Project Committee is currently assessing all of these needs, and will be considering amending the budget for 2016. We will keep you posted.
We hope you will continue to support the Manyinga Orphan and Vulnerable Children Schools Project.
Here are a few ways that your donations are used:
$20 pays for a year’s garden seed.
$120 buys school supplies for each school.
$50 adds fruit trees to the orchards, supplementing the student's nutritional needs.
$285 puts a first aid kit into the schools.
$200 buys the tools needed for the agriculture programs at each school.
$1,200 pays for the agriculturalist for the year.
$550 pays for the hired help and oxen to prepare the fields for planting at each school.
$1,320 pays for a teacher for the year.
It is easy to donate; just follow this link to our program webpage www.manyinga.org, to find the donation options available to you.